Hanoi: Unconventional Tradition of Fire Discovery for Good Fortune

In the ancient tradition of An Dinh villagers in Yen Nghia Ward, Ha Dong District, it is believed that finding a fortunate flame and safely carrying it back home without extinguishing it is a sacred ritual.


The ancient ritual is usually performed on the 11th day of the first lunar month or February 20 this year. It is believed that the fire from the votive fire in the village communal house will bring good luck and happiness to the families.

No one knows when the Lucky Fire ritual began, but it is still maintained in suburban districts of Hanoi as an indispensable Lunar New Year practice.

Votive papers are ready to be burned for this ancient ritual. Photo: Huy Pham/The Hanoi Times
The fire from the incense burned by the village patriarch is ready to be shared among the villagers.
This year’s bonfire took place earlier than usual, starting at 8:30 p.m.

The fire of good fortune is the result of the burning of votive offerings which were made in the village temple last year.
The ancient ritual is performed once a year in spring.
People get the lucky fire and take it home as soon as possible, otherwise it might die out.
The people desire to get the fire home as soon as possible.
The lucky fire would also be shared, showing the love and care of the villagers for each other.
Lucky fire is offered to the ancestral altar, sending the descendants’ wishes for a peaceful, prosperous, and fortunate Lunar New Year.